The Patriots removed S Patrick Chung (shoulder) from the injury report, but added arguably their best defender to the list after Stephon Gilmore was limited with an ankle injury on Friday.
Dolphins: OC Jake Brendel (calf), CB Xavien Howard (knee)
Howard is the Dolphins top cornerback and arguably their most important defensive cornerstone and he will not be available. Howard has only missed 7 snaps all season, so his absence will be felt by the Miami defense.
Perhaps Miami will have rookie defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick take on a larger role opposite of Bobby McCain, but it’s likely that Torry McTyer (two starts this year, back in weeks 5 and 6) will take on a larger role. The other two cornerbacks to take snaps for the Dolphins this year are Walt Aikens and Cornell Armstrong and they’ve combined for 32 defensive snaps all year.
Patriots: TE Dwayne Allen (knee), CB Stephon Gilmore (ankle)
Dolphins: WR Danny Amendola (knee), OC Travis Swanson (ankle)
Allen could be a game-time decision, while little is known about Gilmore’s injury and whether or not we should be concerned.
Amendola didn’t play last week, but is expected to play against his former team. Amendola leads Miami with 469 receiving yards, with Albert Wilson (on the injured reserve) in second place with 391 receiving yards. In other words, this Dolphins passing offense already struggles with Amendola on the field and would be non-existent if he’s unable to play.
Swanson is the Dolphins’ starting center and did not play last week against the Bills. I would expect the Patriots to test his agility with a few blitzes up the middle.